REELMCR specialise in community based drama, participant-led documentary films and ‘living memory’ social history recording and archiving.
In the past two decades REELMCR has engaged 1000’s of individuals in some of our most hard to reach communities. From Moss Side to Gorton, Langworthy to Langley, Lower Broughton to Bolton, Burnley, Hathershaw and Fitton Hill, REELMCR has used filmmaking, drama and storytelling to help working-class communities creatively explore the issues and events affecting their lives.
Founded in 2001 by Jacqui Carroll and Terry Egan, REELMCR was designed to allow young people and adults to learn, work and grow together alongside workers who share their backgrounds and life experiences.
A generation of REELMCR participants have now come of age and are affecting the World they live in. Some past project participants are now working in film and television production, one has established his own theatre company, another is a TV camera operator. All say that their experience with REELMCR was influential in their lives and career paths.
REELMCR are a Community Partner with Factory International (previously MIF).
“REELMCR projects challenge a narrow view of life, and present the possibilities of new friendships, alliances and opportunities for change”
Besides our Social History projects, REELMCR train and mentor community groups to make their own educational films. Most recently ‘Everywoman’ a documentary filmed by Women from the BIG LIFE Co, Zion Centre in Hulme. It voices the accounts of women and men of Manchester’s ethnically diverse community. Women who suffered in silence, women who have felt let down by the system, and women who just want to come out of the shadows. Their stories are as uplifting as they are tragic.
Our projects help provide a sense of identity and belonging, and a confidence that has pushed many into further community engagement or higher education.
One young man, written off by mainstream education at 14, was mentored by and took part in several REELMCR projects, then won himself a full scholarship at Mountview School of Drama, graduated, started his own theatre Company in Salford (Up ‘Ere Productions), is a main character in a big TV Drama to be shown this Autumn, and has just been appointed a Director of REELMCR.
Another 14 year old project participant was encouraged to work with us as a script supervisor which, after graduating, she went on to do professionally in the film and television industry, two years ago she directed a BAFTA winning TV show.
Examples of some very different REELMCR Projects
REELMCR are a ‘full-service’ organisation, meaning we can provide everything from community engagement, research visits, video production and training to event planning.
REELMCR use a community-centred approach to harness the processes of research, writing, drama and filmmaking to promote community cohesion and empowerment, by encouraging participants to explore the issues and the social history that affect them and their communities.
The unique and tailored process within each project makes a huge difference to both individual participants as well as the wider community by building trust, self confidence and pride.
The process also equips those participants who have dropped out of formal education early in life, with new skills and positive life experiences.
We leave it to those we’ve worked for to comment on the quality of our work. The opinions of our project participants are as important to us as the opinions of our clients and commissioner’s, here are just a few of the very kind things they have had to say about REELMCR.
“REELMCR were engaged by Manchester City Council’s Communications team to film staff and clients from our Outreach team and A Bed Every Night scheme centres. These teams work with people sleeping rough on Manchester’s streets and provide wraparound support once they have been helped into accommodation. Our brief was to show the amazing work of the teams, but also the complex backgrounds of those they try to help and the challenges involved. Jacqui and Terry’s approach was to begin with a period of research and engagement with staff and clients. The lengths they went to, the relationships they formed, and they trust they developed with everyone really paid off. Participants were evidently relaxed in the interviews and really opened up, drawing out the complex backgrounds of clients and the dedication of staff -which will hopefully engage our audience far more. The resulting films were beautifully shot, extremely sensitive to the subject matter and to the film’s participants, and very movingly covered the issues, challenges and successes. We couldn’t be happier with the end result!”
Cultural Lead for One Manchester
“REELMCR have delivered a really complicated project to a high standard and a great conclusion. I never had any doubts that they could do everything they set out to do technically, but this project involved a lot of hearts and minds, fierce loyalties and strong emotions and this made the documentary, in particular, a real challenge. I think they met it and the reactions from everyone who has seen both films has been overwhelmingly and satisfyingly positive”
REELMCR Participant – now Independent Script Supervisor
“Taking part in REELMCR’s projects has been nothing short of life changing. Their knowledge, enthusiasm and passion gave me the courage to go on to pursue a career in film – something I never thought possible before meeting the REELMCR team”
John O Neil
REELMCR Participant – now Director, ‘Up Ere Productions’.
“I have known REELMCR for 16 years and had the pleasure of working with them on several films during that time. & Every time they go above and beyond the roles of filmmakers – they care, they teach, they inspire, they motivate, they challenge and most importantly they love what they do. They love to tell stories. They love to make films. Seeing the time and dedication they put into bringing the best in people whilst still telling honest, engaging & real stories and making fantastic films is inspiring! & it has become the foundation to my craft and the work I do – without them or the experiences they have given me I can honestly say I wouldn’t know what or who I would be today”
REELMCR Participant – now Television Camera Operator
“From shy and introverted to creative and confident, working with REELMCR broadened my horizons unimaginably, coming from an area of the country statistically regarded to be within the greatest level of deprivation to working in the Television business as a Camera Operator. My admiration for the guys at REELMCR can not be expressed highly enough, but they are prominent among the earliest influences on my career and therefore the life I am now able to lead. As an teenager I was able to take part in drama and scriptwriting sessions, and experience what it was like to be on set during productions, surrounded by an enthusiastic team all working towards the same goal. The success that we shared in as a community, delivering a piece of drama that reflected the collective concerns of the people in our area, while enjoying ourselves was infectious to me. The unique support from the guys at REELMCR was as amazing from day one as it is almost 20 years on since I first worked with them. Anyone who has taken part in one of their projects can feel privileged to be a part of an ever expanding family who love film & community and they will always command my eternal gratitude”
REELMCR clients are many and varied, from repeat commercial filming jobs for the ‘Homes and Communities Agency’ to community groups such as ‘Making a Difference’ in Stockport, Peacemaker in Oldham, and Salford based Lower Kersal Young People’s Group.
Other commissioners include; The Big Life Company, St Vincent’s Housing Association, Great Places Housing Group, Adactus Housing Association, Northwards Housing, City South/One: Manchester, Manchester City Council, Rochdale Borough Council, Bolton Borough Council, Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, The Manchester College, NHS, Tameside and Salford Youth Services, The Coalfield Regeneration Trust and many Heritage Lottery Projects across the North West.
Many of these are repeat commissioners; all have commissioned interesting and fruitful projects, with the films having been used by the commissioning bodies to other ends, whether resulting in broadcasts or being housed on websites or used for training purposes within councils or community education.
St Wilfrids Enterprise Centre
Manchester M15 5BJ
Mob: 0793 1234 890
Tel: 0161 740 1596